The Saga of Miles Forrest

What did the letter say?” asked Doc Jones as he sipped his coffee then forked a piece of apricot pie.
    Looking up at him I followed up with a question of my own.  “Snoopin’ Doc?”
    He looked surprised and a little hurt.  “Just saw the envelope sitting there.  I didn’t mean to rile your feathers.”
    I reckoned he thought I was serious.  “Just joshin’ you, Doc.  The letter is from Marshal Blasco over in Denver,” I replied reaching for my cup as I had already eaten my pie.
    Molly was coming out of the kitchen and she came over to the table and joined us.  Being the gentleman I am, I got up to get her a cup of coffee and set it down in front of her.
    “What did the letter say?” she asked.  That brought a snicker from Doc to which Molly said, “What?  Did I say something funny?  Flour in my hair, or a smudge on my cheek.  What?” she was busy now putting her fingers through her hair, and wiping at her face.
    “You’re fine, dear,” I said.  “Doc, just seconds ago asked the same question.  The letter is from Jeb Blasco.”
    She calmed herself, then asked, “Well, what did he have to say?”
    I picked up the envelope and pulled out the letter.  “He asked how we were all doin’, wished you his best.  Then he gave me some information about Sam Fooy.  He said that unless Fooy changes his method of operation we probably wouldn’t hear anything from him until next summer.  He normally makes a couple of strikes then goes quiet through the winter,” I said, then paused.  “He made quite a haul with the bank here and the payroll robbery.  Jeb says he is probably in Denver, or maybe even Kansas City or as far away as San Francisco.”
    “Then we don’t have to worry about him?” she questioned.
    “Probably not,” I said taking another swallow of coffee.  “I wonder who shot Wade?  Fooy has been careful not to kill anyone, but that changed with the robbery.”  I looked at my cup and it was empty so I got to my feet, went to the stove and poured another cup.  Turning around I saw Doc with his hand out holding his cup.  
    “Need to wash down that mighty fine pie,” he said with a smile then nodded at Molly.
    Sitting back down I took a long swallow.  “Jeb doesn’t say what the rest of his gang does.  It takes a special kind of outlaw to do what Fooy does.  Most spend their money, gamble or drink it away.  ‘Course most don’t make a haul like Fooy has just done.”
    Molly was playing with her cup with both hands, turning it one way then the other.  Looking up at me she offered, “You’re concerned about the Lamb brothers.”
    I nodded.  “They broke away from Fooy after the robbery at Silverton and were on the road toward Durango.  I just don’t see men like that holdin’ up in a cabin to sit out the winter, and Durango is the only town on the road south.”
    “Maybe just pass on through to Taos or Santa Fe,” offered Doc.
    “Maybe,” I responded, though in my mind I doubted it.  “We’ll just take one day at a time, that’s all the good Lord has given us anyway.”

    Just a few miles north, in a small cabin near the little community of Hermosa two men were arguing.  “John, it just doesn’t make sense to go back into Durango.  People there know our faces,” argued James Lamb.
    “There’s only a half dozen that got a good look at us,” he retorted.  Plus, I’ve got a real hankering to see that waitress again.”
    That brought a smile from his brother.  “She was right shapely, and firm of body.”
    A chuckle frescaped from John.  “We’ll wait a few days then ride in.”
    “No use having all this money without spending it…”